Alternative splicing contributes to K+ channel diversity in the mammalian central nervous system. Academic Article uri icon


  • In an attempt to define the molecular basis of the functional diversity of K+ channels, we have isolated overlapping rat brain cDNAs that encoded a neuronal delayed rectifier K+ channel, K,4, that is structurally related to the Drosophila Shaw protein. Unlike previously characterized mammalian K+ channel genes, which each contain a single protein-coding exon, K,4 arises from alternative exon usage at a locus that also encodes another mammalian Shaw homolog, NGK2. Thus, the enormous diversity of K+ channels in mammals can be generated not just through gene duplication and divergence but also through alternative splicing of RNA.

publication date

  • May 1, 1991